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people praising God September 21 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Psalms 107, 111, 112, 117, 146, 147

Praise and God’s Unfailing Love

A favorite portion of the Bible is the Psalms. Most people identify with the Psalms because the writers wrote about themes common to everyday life like pain and suffering, disillusionment, betrayal, deep remorse, trust, obedience, joy and blessings. The Psalms were Hebrew songs. Some rehearse the LORD’s blessings on the righteous and his curses on the wicked, and others are highly emotional and touch us deeply. While the Psalmists wrote of many struggles, many songs offer hope for the future.

While Bible scholars are not exactly sure when the Psalms in today’s reading were written, they certainly seem to fit in the context of the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra records struggles with neighboring nations when God allowed the Jews to return to their own land and rebuild the temple. After it was built there must have been songs of praise and thanksgiving. Nearly 150 years later, King Artaxerxes allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Again, there was a lot of trouble with the neighbors. It had been a tough time for Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem, but finally the walls were complete. Again it was a time of celebration and memories.

The returnees remembered when times were not so good. Psalm 107 seems to suggest that some exiles wandered in wasteland, and others were in prison, sitting in darkness and gloom. Some exiles nearly died because of their foolishness, and others served as slaves on ships and nearly perished. Now the repentant exiles gathered from various places to Jerusalem. Through all the troubles God saved them from, the refrain of Psalm 107 is “Let them [the redeemed, the people of Israel] give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men,” (vss.8, 15, 21, 31, NIV). Psalm 107 ends with the exhortation: “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD,” (NIV). Most of us are not Israelites but we, too, have been redeemed. What has God saved us from? Let us consider the great love of the LORD and give him praise.

In Psalm 111 the writer praises God for providing food for the Israelites in exile, for remembering his covenant to them, and for returning their land that was once occupied by foreigners.

Psalm 112 recounts the blessings of those who fear God’s name - one of them being his triumph over his foes (vs.8). The enemies of Israel “were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work [of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls] had been done with the help of [their] God,” (Nehemiah 6:16, NIV).

Psalm 146 and 147 are praise songs which are similar to the theme of Psalm 107, God’s unfailing love. Psalm 146:5-6 says, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-- the LORD, who remains faithful forever,” (NIV). No matter what troubles beset the believer, God is faithful forever. Do you count on the help of man or do you trust in the LORD? Psalm 147:11 says, “the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love,” (NIV). Do we put our hope in man or God? Because Israel put their hope in God, he delivered them from bondage and exile. He can do that for us, too, if we will put our hope and trust in his unfailing love. He is forever faithful.

Lessons to live by:

  • Read the Psalms. You will find comfort, help, and courage to persevere when you are going through tough times. You will also find much cause for rejoicing in the LORD as you trust in his unfailing love. Do you know him? He can give you forgiveness, peace, spiritual life and help (more...)
  • Has God delivered you from your troubles or given you victory? Don’t forget to praise him and publicly declare what God has done for you.

Today’s Bible memory verse: Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (NIV)

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